- Following their semi-final meeting at Indian Wells several weeks ago, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic and British No. 1 Andy Murray will once again cross paths on the ATP World Tour, this time in the final of the Miami Open to determine who will lift the trophy this year. Both men have captured this title previously – Djokovic on three more occasions than his Scottish foe. The Serb has also bested Murray in the last six consecutive meetings to push his head-to-head lead to 17-8.
Faced with the tall task of beating American No. 1 John Isner, Djokovic needed to weather an early storm of serves, but once he cruised through the first set tiebreak, he settled into the match, hit third gear, and breezed into the final. He struck 10 aces, hit 25 winners and broke serve twice to close out the match 7-6(3), 6-2 in one hour and 30 minutes.
“I’m glad that I managed to realise everything that I intended tactically before the match,” said Djokovic. “It’s always tough to play somebody that serves that well. “At the end of the day, it is important to hang in there mentally, be patient… I used the court very well, and [I’m] pleased with the performance.”
Seeded third at this year’s event, Murray also needed straight sets to find his way into the final of the Miami Open. He defeated Tomas Berdych 6-4, 6-4 in what was his 501st match win.
“I felt like I served well,” said Murray. “It was tricky from one end of the court. We’re basically serving right into the sun at that time of day, so I had to take a little bit off the serve. On the second serve it was very tough to see.”
While Murray has not defeated Djokovic since he lifted the historic Wimbledon title back in 2013, he remains a somewhat irrational hopeful against the Serbian star. Given that Murray spent the vast majority of 2014 recovering from his back surgery, he is yet to find his peak form; once he does, we may consider him once again a viable threat to the reigning kingpin on the ATP World Tour.
Prediction: Novak Djokovic in Three Sets